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Personal profile

Biography

Dr. Yan Wang Preston is an award-winning practicing artist with long-term interests in the contested definitions, myths, politics and ideologies of nature in contemporary societies. Her practise is primarily based in photography, especially landscape photography. With this foundation, she is also interested in process-based art as both practice and research, which can take different forms such as performances, conceptual photography, videos, books and social/digital sculptures. Her own major projects include: ‘Mother River’ (2010-2014), for which she photographed the entire 6,211km Yangtze River in China at precise 100km intervals on a large-format film camera; and ‘Forest’ (2010-2017), for which she investigated the politics of urban re-naturing by photographing transplanted old trees and ecology recovery in new Chinese cities. 

Preston’s work has won major international awards such as the Hundred Heroines from the Royal Photographic Society, 1st Prize, Syngenta Photography Award and the Shiseido Photographer Prize at the Three Shadows Photography Annual Award in Beijing, China. Her solo exhibitions have been presented at prestigious venues such as the 56th Venice Biennale, Chongqing China Three Gorges Museum, Wuhan Art Museum, Gallery of Photography Ireland and Impressions Gallery in Bradford, UK. Her monographs ‘Forest’ and ‘Mother River’ are both published by Hatje Cantz in 2018. Her work is featured in numerous magazines and newspapers, such as The Guardian, Irish Times, European Photography, Chinese Photography, CCTV and British Journal of Photography. 

Preston was award a practice-based PhD in Photography from the University of Plymouth in 2018, under the supervision of Professor Jem Southam and Professor Liz Wells. While continuing to work as an independent artist, she joined the University of Huddersfield as a Lecturer in Photography in 2018. 

Research Expertise and Interests

  • photography
  • landscape, politics and ideology of nature, urbanisation, conceptual art, land art, performance art

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Yan Wang Preston is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Research Output

Forest

Preston, Y. W., 8 Mar 2020

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

  • Mother River

    Preston, Y. W., 20 Feb 2020

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

  • Forest

    Preston, Y. W., 8 Dec 2019

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

  • Forest

    Preston, Y. W., 8 May 2019

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

  • Forest

    Preston, Y. W., 6 Apr 2019

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

  • Activities

    • 4 Invited talk

    Vision of Entanglement: On Yan Wang Preston’s Forest Project

    Yan Wang Preston (Speaker)
    7 Mar 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Compasses, Cameras, Ladies: Case Studies of Women Photographers and Explorers

    Yan Wang Preston (Speaker)
    1 Dec 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    The Golden Tree: On the nature of nature in contemporary Chinese Cities

    Yan Wang Preston (Speaker)
    12 Nov 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Rivers, Trees, Journeys

    Yan Wang Preston (Keynote speaker)
    25 Apr 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk